I hate it when agents don’t respond to me, don’t you?
I will respond to you all day if you text me, or email me. However, if you call me or leave a message, that may take a little longer.
Why is this? Answering a phone call means stopping what you are doing, taking an undertermined amount of time to answer a call that you have no idea initially what it’s going to be about or even who is on the other line. Agents who are intense and organized will not stop to take calls because it is not an efficient use of their time and it causes them to be reactive. Most listing agents phones ring all day long because their listings and phone numbers appear all over the internet, yard signs, etc. If they spent all day answering their phone, your questions may get answered, but their sellers would go underserved.
Typically, they will have someone taking calls for them (the gate keeper), or they will return all calls/voicemails at a specified time later. If you email about general inquiries about a property, the email will be directed to a buyer’s agent who will contact you about your inquiry and attempt to further assist you. This is proactive and a more efficient use of the listing agent’s time.
My preference is text or email. Why? Because I can quickly read through text/email requests and answer at my convenience, sometimes instantaneously, sometimes forwarded to a buyer’s agent to assist you. But all the time, answering your text or email.
Many people often call about information already available to them via internet or their own real estate agent. I understand that some listing agents don’t keep their info updated (I’m guilty sometimes as well), but I try to keep it updated to help you help your clients in as fast a manner as possible. So if you text/email me with a question that is not readily available in MLS, I will have time to get the appropriate answer for you and then respond correctly and asap.
If you text/email me with a question that is readily available in MLS, I can simple text/email back “MLS is current”, and you could then trust what you read in MLS, and your question is answered swiftly.
So here are a few tips that may help get your question answered swiftly:
1. Use a local real estate professional: A good buyer’s agent will know how to get your questions answered. Enlist the help of an experienced agent and let them work on your behalf.
2. Do your homework – then think your question all the way through: What do you really want? If you only want the price of the property or some other house spec, contact your buyer’s agent (that’s what they get paid for), or check the internet first. If the home is listed and available, the most current info should be present on the large property sites such as Century21.com, REALTOR.com, Trulia.com, Redfin.com, etc.
3. Once you have narrowed down and defined your request, send a short text/email message: Most agents contact info (cell and email) are public info and readily available.
4. Avoid leaving “bait” messages. For example: “This is ______ please call me back at 555-1212”. I get this all the time. You may get some inexpereinced agent to call you back on that, but after a couple of times of being baited, it no longer works. The definition of insanity is…
5. Avoid leaving bitter, threatening messages: Did I really have to say this? You’d be surprised.
Try the tips above the next time you can’t get a listing agent to answer your call. Hope that helps!